Bartlett School of Architecture (Ieyaseu)

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    First Week

    By ieyaseu
    Oct 10, '04 10:47 AM EST

    Week 1: 27th September to 1st October

    One big long queue

    This first week can only be described as one big long queue. Queuing to enrol at the Bartlett, queuing to enrol at its mother institution UCL, queuing to get computer stuff, queuing to hand in forms that could just have been dropped into a collection tray, queuing in big long queues where everyone seems to know everyone else, queuing for student discount travel forms, queuing to get a new student photocard that looks as though a monkey made it, queuing to pay fees, queuing in sweaty, humid corridors bereft of natural light and ventilation, queuing for interviews at 11.30 at night”¦..

    Basically lots and lots of queuing.


    140 hot, sweaty, totally queued-out architecture students crammed in a lecture theatre with a capacity much less than the attendance are subjected to 8 hours of their potential tutors ramblings about why they should join their Unit (studio). The Units went kind of along these lines

    Unit 11: We draw fancy stuff and respect your individuality.
    Unit 12: We do arty stuff and respect your individuality.
    No unit 13 because we are superstitious like that.
    Unit 14: We make weird stuff that reacts to you in a weird way and respect your individuality.
    Unit 15: We do weird stuff on the computer and respect your individuality.
    Unit 16: We draw weird stuff that flies and that you can live in and respect your individuality.
    Unit 17: We're really popular but don't worry we also respect your individuality.
    Unit 18: We actually make buildings but don't worry, we do a bit of weird stuff at the start and oh yes, we respect your individuality.
    Unit 19: We do the weirdest stuff, we hate real buildings and respect your individuality.

    Etc etc”¦”¦.

    The respect of ones individuality is probably emphasised in an act of denial as deep down most of these Units probably know that they are conveyer belts, factories for the replication and propagation of the tutor that runs them. Go on call me a cynic!

    Interspersed between the Unit introductions were talks by student counsellors, so concerned about us poor lot that they thought they'd make a special visit and by the Workshop and AV people telling us about the inductions that we would have to do next week. Joy even more queuing lies in wait.


    11.45 at night, I'm at the Bartlett and I haven't even started work yet. What am I doing, yes, you guessed it, I'm queuing, this time queuing for my first choice Unit interview, which is one and a half hours late (which meant that my interview was scheduled for 10.15pm which is still rather silly I feel). Doing this every year you'd think they'd sort out a better way of doing this, but I guess architects are suckers for self punishment. One of the Units was even interviewing at three in the morning!

    All architects wear black

    Or funny glasses or collarless shirts or bright socks, it's strange that when moving from one school to another you expect to meet different personalities but are confronted by the same again. For instance: the slightly eccentric tutor who believes he professes the future, the architectural teaching duo that may as well be the same person and are rumoured to be gay, the nice guy tutor who everyone loves and the hard bastard who everyone hates”¦feel free to insert your own stereotype here.

    Next week

    I get to join my unit (have been given my first choice early, so no need to fight to see the notice board), I get to join a workshop introduction where they will probably tell me important stuff like “don't put your fingers near the Bandsaw” and go to collect a swipe card for 24hour access where I will probably (but god I hope not) go through a 50 minute talk on out of hours working, if I'm really lucky they might make me do a risk assessment.


    • terri_p

      That was the funniest thing i have ever read--sums up architecture school. well done.

      Oct 10, 04 4:48 pm

      Which unit did you choose !?!

      I must

      If you're q-ing, I'll gladly wait ...

      ~ stampy

      p.s. Yo I'd go for 12 (arty+respect) or 17 (mystery grab bag+respect)

      Oct 14, 04 10:55 pm
      Christopher Daniel

      Very Good. Shame you didn't continue and comment on units 20 - 24. I'd be interested to hear your descriptions of them.

      Which unit did you get into? You'll have to tell us at some point. or your future posts won't make much sense!

      Oct 19, 04 6:42 am

      Yo !!

      don't stop now, ieyaseu.

      you should start your own super-avant-gardey Unit 13: in Space ! (and we respect your individuality.)

      Oct 19, 04 9:04 pm

      Unit 18
      I'll try and write something on the weekend.

      Oct 20, 04 9:44 am

      groovey thanks !!

      good luck ~ you're going to actually make buildings ... and you go to Hong Kong !?! For your site for objects for desire for Unit 18 for Bart-Lett for sure!!

      there was a guy in the office here who was in Unit 17 (I think) but he's gone now ~ he loved his bartlett experience.

      go bartfest! hook up the webcam!!!111121!!

      Oct 20, 04 2:03 pm
      Darren Hodgson

      Hey Ieyaseu

      I don't know whether you know but you've been quoted in Building Design, picking up on this post. Thats not a bad acheivement my friend. Get hold of a copy if you can, i'm sure that The Bartlett will have a copy somewhere.

      Oct 29, 04 5:05 am

      Have you had your first crit yet? Good luck if not. I hear the AA is thinking of abandoning the unit system - I'd be interested to hear your comments on that. What was the system at Edinburgh?

      Oct 31, 04 3:34 am
      Jordan Lloyd

      I now spend most of my Part 1 placement waiting in queues travelling from home to the office. Will I be getting the same gratifying experience applying for diploma at the Bartlett?

      Nov 1, 04 12:37 pm

      definitely U19........ one word..... 'liberating'...

      Nov 1, 04 5:34 pm

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